Coast Guard Establishing Evacuation Plan for Hawaii Islands in Case of Large Tsunami

If a large tsunami ever is about to hit Hawaii, like the one that hit Hilo in 1946, the Coast Guard is implementing an evacuation plan that would ensure the safe evacuation of boats and vessels from Harbors around the state.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in helping the park achieve its  TsunamiReady/StormReady designation.  NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John
Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in
helping the park achieve its TsunamiReady/StormReady designation. NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

There are no public meetings planned by here is some general information on the plan:

The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a permanent regulated navigation area (RNA) and to enforce this proposed regulation only when a tsunami warning is issued for the Hawaiian Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Tsunami warnings require the evacuation of a large number of vessels from their respective harbors. Following the evacuation, these vessels must remain offshore until the emergency situation has passed and the harbors have been deemed safe for reentry.

Past tsunami warnings have created potentially dangerous offshore traffic congestion between commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Because of this, designated vessel traffic staging areas are necessary for a safe and orderly evacuation of Southern Oahu ports.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before November 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2012-0080. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. The following link will take you directly to the docket: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=USCG-2012-0080. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For more information click here: Coast Guard Evacuation Plan

Tsunami Siren Testing Today May Not Validate Actual Emergency Situation

I wonder why I get emergency emails from the county hours after I get them via Hawaii Nixle Emergency Alerts.

The most recent Nixle “EMERGENCY ALERT” paid for with our tax dollars.

Of course I find it funny that the Hawaii County Police Department would use an emergency alert service like Nixel to promote it’s self at times by posting thing like “Police Officer of the Month” on an emergency service.  Lord knows if we as the public used a service like 911 to promote ourselves all hell would break out.

Then again… I didn’t get anything via Nixle the night of the Tsunami Evacuations!

If folks are relying on email for emergency notifications… it may be too late when a real emergency does happen!  I’m gonna depend on myself for notices until the county get’s the kinks worked out.

The Sirens will be tested today with county workers stationed at each siren.

I guarantee they will report that the Pahoa Siren closest to my house is functioning properly (as it always does on the drill days)

I know for a fact that Pahoa’s siren didn’t go off until about 9:15 at night more then two hours after I posted the warning on my site.

Having County workers standing by at these sirens tomorrow won’t prove much I expect…. as I expect my siren to go off as usual during a warning.

WILL IT GO OFF DURING A REAL EMERGENCY?

There was a moral to the story of the boy who called wolf!

What Happened to the Civil Defense Sirens During Last Nights Tsunami Warnings

Well as everyone knows by now we had a big scare again with a Tsunami Warning that happened following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the British Columbia coastline.

I was following the story fairly closely but was pretty concerned because the Civil Defense Sirens were not going off and nothing was being reported on the Civil Defense Page about the possible incoming tsunami.

In fact the only thing the Civil Defense Page did report was the following nearly 5 hours after the first wave was suppose to hit:

“This is a Civil Defense Message for Sunday October 28, 2012 at 4:15 AM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled the tsunami advisory for the Island of Hawaii, however small sea level changes and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours.  Beaches will remain closed until further notice.  This will be the final message issued for this event unless conditions change.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense”

I first learned about it at 7:15 pm Hawaii time and didn’t even hear the first siren in Pahoa until nearly 9:15 in the evening!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5ei7Uc2Dj2k]

I know that the sirens were going off in Kona earlier as my wife was staying at the Keauhou Resort for a soccer tournament and they got evacuated as soon as the sirens went off over there around 8:30.

I was getting facebook reports from other parts of the island that they weren’t hearing sirens either.

Big Island Video News posted a video of the strange tidal action that was happening shortly after the tsunami hit and you can view that here “Video: Tsunami Brings Strange Tides to Wailoa Boat Harbor“.

Just a CRAZY Saturday Video

Check out this video of this Australian tourist videotaping glaciers.

All of a sudden the glacier has a huge landslide creating a tsunami type of wave that almost took these folks out!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/jeb9bBgybR8]

One Year Later – Big Island Journalist Releases New Footage of Hawaii Tsunami… RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

West Hawaii Today journalist Chelsea Jensen posted this video entitled “One Year Later” of what happened here in Hawaii after the Earthquake and Tsunami that devastated Japan last year.

Watch until the very end and you can see that Chelsea herself almost got swept out to sea and did suffer damages (posted with permission)

[youtube=http://youtu.be/JLFZvD8Ct5A]

*CORRECTION* Rogue Wave… Not New Footage of the 2011 Tsunami Coming on Shore in Hawaii

UPDATE:  Larry O’Brien Commented the following:

The 2011 tsunami hit in the dark, around 4am. This is “just” a rogue wave, not a tsunami (which rolls in and rolls in for minutes). The crowd sounds Australian?

Here is some new footage of the 2011 Japan Tsunami that reached as far away as Hawaii.

A snippet from the clip below of the 2011 Tsunami that hit Japan and reached as far away as Hawaii

This footage appears to be taken in Hawaii from what the youtube user described the video as:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/y3iey0RbjDM]

7.1 Earthquake Strikes Alaska… Tsunami Alert Generated… But NO TSUNAMI THREAT FOR HAWAII

2:12 AM UPDATE: Tsunami warning CANCELLED for Alaska’s Aleutian Islands per Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has posted this alert:

“A Tsunami Warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).”

Magnitude 7.1
Date-Time
  • Friday, September 02, 2011 at 10:55:54 UTC
  • Friday, September 02, 2011 at 01:55:54 AM at epicenter
Location 52.184°N, 171.684°W
Depth 35.5 km (22.1 miles)
Region FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
Distances
  • 172 km (107 miles) E (90°) from Atka, AK
  • 209 km (130 miles) WSW (247°) from Nikolski, AK
  • 341 km (212 miles) E (82°) from Adak, AK
  • 1659 km (1031 miles) WSW (243°) from Anchorage, AK
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14 km (8.7 miles); depth +/- 4.4 km (2.7 miles)
Parameters NST=824, Nph=825, Dmin=172.5 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp= 54°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005n83
TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
106 AM HST FRI SEP 02 2011

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 1256 AM HST 02 SEP 2011
   COORDINATES - 51.8 NORTH  171.4 WEST
   LOCATION    - FOX ISLANDS  ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.1  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

If and When It Gets Really Bad… An Excerpt

I found this interesting write up by former Big Island resident Charles “Buc” Fitch on the Radio World Blog and I thought I’d move an excerpt of it over here:

….The first time I really got into this weighty issue was in 1970 when I attended disaster planning meetings on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were one of only four radio stations on the island.

We recognized the following emergency events that could seriously affect the populace, in descending order:

Tsunami
Hurricane
Violent volcanic eruption with resulting unpredictable lava flows
Pestilence (this included plague, rampant disease, water quality issues, etc.)
Invasion (including fallout)

(Pestilence was not a joke but a real fear. When you’re on an island, you’re in an incubator. Half the indigenous Hawaiian population had been wiped out by diseases brought by missionaries.)

We focused on ways to keep our civilization running if weather or lava took out power generation, road connections, airport operations, communication microwave systems to the other islands, port facilities and the phone cable to the mainland.

Our station was near clear channel on 850, but the transmitter and studio were right on the water — definitely in the line of any tsunami that might come in our direction.

Given our modest resources, this is what we decided should be done:

-First, since the warning time for a major water inundation event was limited, the word “tsunami” would never be used on air except in the context of emergency announcements, period. The word was off-limits for humor, as a comparative, in advertising as a superlative and the like. We wanted people to pay attention when they heard the word “tsunami.”

-PSAs and issue programming would focus on how warnings for all events would be issued and what people should do in response to those warnings. What reasonable preparations should be accomplished in advance? How many gallons of potable water per person in the household should be kept on hand, batteries for radios, etc.?

-On the station side, we would evacuate along with everyone else, and move outside the tsunami impact zone and above the high wave level of previous hurricanes.

-The station would continue running with program input from the Civil Defense (remember CD?) emergency offices via dialup POTS. That would be my new duty post. Since the entire phone system in Hilo was hardwire DC with central battery, the phone system could run on for nearly two days without power; and if we were lucky enough for our radio station to stay on, our battery-powered mixer could provide program output for that period.

-If the radio station was wiped out, we all had backup assignments. I was to report to the chief engineer of the phone company to help in the restoration of their radio links.

Forty years later, circumstances are different all over the radio industry. For instance, almost every station has generators…

Full article here “If and When It Gets Really Bad

 

Tsunami Damage on Hawaii, the Big Island Won’t Impact Most Visitors

Despite many of the pictures that have been circulating online via various social networks, online sites and newspapers… the Big Island really was fairly lucky and we pretty much dodged a bullet again with this latest tsunami.

The Big Island Visitors Bureau released the following statement and I tossed in some pictures that are circulating online.

Media Release:

Hawai’i Island, especially the Kona District, sustained some damage from the tsunami generated by an earthquake near Japan, but impact on visitors will be minimal, tourism officials said.

Ali'i Drive

On Fri., Mar. 11, a tsunami hit Hawai’i following a devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. Some hotels and businesses along the Kona and Kohala coasts received significant damage and were flooded with sea water and debris, but many are up and running as they assess the aftermath.

Napo'opo'o

“It’s business as almost-usual,” said George Applegate, Executive Director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau. “We had plenty of advance warning from our government agencies, and we were able to coordinate and prepare for the worst. What can be damaging for visitors is bad information,” he said.

Ali'i Drive re-opened Friday evening

For instance, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Ali’i Drive in Kailua Village is open contrary to some reports, and sustained no damage to guest rooms. The hotel’s website stated:  “The rooms were untouched by the water. Some of our guests are choosing to stay at the hotel, since only the public areas have been affected, however, we are happy to work with our guests to relocate elsewhere, if desired.”

General Manager Jak Hu said most guests are opting to stay put, and that Billfish Bar will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner starting Sunday.

A sunken boat

Despite erroneous reports and headlines that Kailua Pier was “condemned,” by the U.S. Coast Guard (which does not have the authority to condemn the pier) some boat charters are operating. Maggie Brown, owner of Body Glove cruises, said her company is running whale watches and historical cruises today. She canceled snorkel trips only because of poor visibility caused by swirling surges and waves that have now subsided.

Big Islands own Darwin

“This town is pretty resilient. We’re all willing to go the extra mile to make things happen,” Brown said.

The National Park Service reports that Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is closed indefinitely as park officials assess damage there. Kaloko-Honokōhau National Park is open, but the unimproved road that leads to Kaloko Fishpond is closed. Hulihe’e Palace is also temporarily closed due to flooding in the basement, but the artifacts were successfully relocated.

Napo'opo'o (Captain Cook)

On the Kohala Coast, the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai will remain closed as its staff surveys tsunami damage. Ciro Tacinelli, Director of Marketing, said all guests and employees are safe and sound, and that guests have been relocated. The resort is calling those scheduled to arrive through Tuesday to inform them of the situation.

There were no deaths or serious injuries reported as a result of Friday’s tsunami. All airports are open and flights are on time, and nearly all roads, including Ali’i Drive in Kailua Village, are now open.

Cars were lifted and tossed around

“Overall, Hawai’i Island escaped with minimal damage,” said George Applegate. “The best way to help us is to come visit and enjoy all be have to offer, which is an inspiring experience and vacation. We send our aloha and heartfelt sympathy to the people of Japan, and to everyone who sustained losses due to the earthquake and tsunami,” he said.

Hawaii County Crews Reopen Roads, Assess Damage to Homes, Businesses and Public Facilities in the Wake of the Tsunami

From the Mayors Office:

County of Hawai‘i Public Works crews worked quickly today to clear and reopen Kona roads to allow for detailed assessments of damage, and to clear the way for the public to return to most areas that were closed early this morning as a damaging tsunami approached the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento predicted the damage from the tsunami to homes, businesses, roads and other infrastructure in the County of Hawai‘i will total millions of dollars.

Mayor Billy Kenoi thanked residents for their cooperation and calm as the tsunami approached, noting that the evacuation and preparations for the arrival of the tsunami were executed quickly and safely.

The tsunami resulted in no deaths in the County of Hawai‘i, although there was one injury. A County Department of Public Works Highways Division employee was found unconscious early Friday morning with a head injury, and was taken to Kona Community Hospital for observation.

“I am proud of the way our community pulled together to answer this threat, and I am proud of the efficient, rapid response to this event by our state, federal and county employees, “ Mayor Kenoi said. “Our community knew what to do, and our residents did what was necessary without hesitation, and without complaint.

“I am very concerned about the preliminary damage reports that are coming in, but we all recognize that this could have been much worse. We were very lucky,” Mayor Kenoi said.

Frank De Lima… “Tsunami”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snjlk0iPhDY&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Time Lapse of the Hilo Bay Tsunami Today

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnJLugo3-RU&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

No Tsunami Generated From 3.6 Earthquake

A minor earthquake occurred at 7:21:07 PM (HST) on Monday, December 14, 2009 .
The magnitude 3.6 event occurred 6 km (4 miles) N of Ka`ena Point.
The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).

More Here

7.1 Earthquake off Honduras Coast in Caribbeans… Tsunami Watch in Effect

*Update 2* Tsunami Watch Canceled

*Downgraded to 7.1 *

URGENT — A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes off Honduras coast in the Caribbean. A tsunami watch is in effect.7 minutes ago from BNO Headquarters

BNO News
TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER   1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
0833 UTC THU MAY 28 2009

THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO COUNTRIES WITHIN AND BORDERING THE
CARIBBEAN SEA...EXCEPT FOR PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.

... A LOCAL TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT ...

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR

 HONDURAS / BELIZE / GUATEMALA

FOR OTHER AREAS OF THE CARIBBEAN COVERED BY THIS MESSAGE...IT IS
FOR INFORMATION ONLY AT THIS TIME.

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.  ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

 ORIGIN TIME -  0825Z 28 MAY 2009
 COORDINATES -  16.7 NORTH   86.3 WEST
 LOCATION    -  NORTH OF HONDURAS
 MAGNITUDE   -  7.3

EVALUATION

 A DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT DOES NOT EXIST BASED ON
 HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.                             

 HOWEVER - THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF A LOCAL TSUNAMI THAT
 COULD AFFECT COASTS LOCATED USUALLY NO MORE THAN A HUNDRED
 KILOMETERS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES FOR THE
 REGION NEAR THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY.
 AREAS FURTHER FROM THE EPICENTER COULD EXPERIENCE SMALL SEA
 LEVEL CHANGES AND STRONG OR UNUSUAL COASTAL CURRENTS.               

ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS
WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL
ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

 LOCATION         FORECAST POINT     COORDINATES     ARRIVAL TIME
 --------------------------------    ------------    ------------
 HONDURAS         PUERTO CORTES      15.9N  88.0W    0848Z 28 MAY
                  TRUJILLO           15.9N  86.0W    0856Z 28 MAY
 BELIZE           BELIZE CITY        17.5N  88.2W    0908Z 28 MAY
 GUATEMALA        PUERTO BARRIOS     15.7N  88.6W    0919Z 28 MAY

ADDITIONAL BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED BY THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI
WARNING CENTER FOR THIS EVENT AS MORE INFORMATION
BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Video From the Hilo April 1st, 1946 Tsunami

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09xQ8n6GiTY&hl=en&fs=1]

(sorry no sound in this b/w find)

Mayor Kenoi Press Conference Tomorrow

Media Release

Press Conference: Mayor to discuss tsunami alert, stimulus package

Tuesday’s island-wide tsunami alert exercise will be the focus of a press conference with Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi at 10 a.m., Friday, January 23, at the Aupuni Center conference room.

Mayor Kenoi will discuss the importance of the exercise and take questions.

Also on the press conference agenda will be Mayor Kenoi’s recent trip to Washington, D.C., where he made the County’s case for its fair share of the proposed federal economic stimulus package.

Mayor Kenoi will also share his reflections on attending the inauguration of President of Barack Obama.

All media are invited to attend. Please call if there are any questions.

Tsunami Education: A Blueprint for Coastal Communities (Final Document January 2009)

I noticed that the Final Document of “Tsunami Education: A Blueprint for Coastal Communities” was released recently.

It’s a 90 page document prepared by Kylie Alexandria, Genevieve Cain and Patsy Iwasaki.   It was funded by The County of Hawai’i Planning Department State Office of Planning – Coastal Zone Management Program.

I only briefly scanned through it.  I don’t live in a Tsunami Zone, but those who do, I highly suggest reading it or at least skimming through parts that could be relevant to saving your life.

I also want to keep reminding folks that on TUESDAY, January 27th, the Big Island will be having Island Wide Tsunami Drills.

I added the icon of the infamous clock that somehow survived the Hilo Tsunami on the left.  If you click on that, it will take  you to a file that the government released about how to “Survive a Tsunami”

tsunamiclock1

So click here to see the Final Document that the County has released on it’s website.